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UNIVERSITY OF 
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DRAWINGS OF 
LEONARDO DA VINCI 



DRAWINGS OF THE 




GREAT MASTERS 



DR/WINGS OF 
LEONARDO DA 

VINCI 




LONDON.GEORGE NEWNES LIMITED 
SOUTHAMPTON STREET. STRANDw.c 
NfiW YORK. CHARLES SCRIBNEKS SONS 



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THK BALLANTYNE PKKSS 
TAVISTOCK ST.. LONDON 






LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



PLATE 

PROFILE OF A WARRIOR . . . Frontispiece 

PORTRAIT OF ISABELLA D'ESTE i 

STUDY OF AN OLD MAN n 

STUDY OF DRAPERIES FOR KNEELING FIGURES . in 

STUDY OF A BACCHUS iv 

HEAD OF A MAN v 

BATTLE BETWEEN HORSEMEN AND MONSTERS . vi 
WOMAN SEATED ON GROUND AND CHILD 

KNEELING vn 

STUDIES OF HEADS vm 

YOUTH ON HORSEBACK ix 

STUDIES FOR THE EQUESTRIAN STATUE OF 

FRANCESCO SFORZA x 

}^THE VIRGIN, ST. ANNE AND INFANT ... xi 

STUDIES OF CHILDREN , xii 

THE COMBAT xm 

STUDY FOR A MADONNA xiv 

STUDIES FOR "THE HOLY FAMILY" ... xv 

STUDIES FOR "THE LAST SUPPER" .... xvi 

COURTYARD OF A CANNON-FOUNDRY . . . xvn 

STUDY OF THE HEAD OF AN APOSTLE . . . xvm 
STUDY FOR BACKGROUND OF "THE ADORATION 

OF THE MAGI" xix 

STUDY OF LANDSCAPE xx 

STUDY OF A TREE xxi 

TWO HEADS. CARICATURES xxn 

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST xxm 

THE HEAD OF CHRIST xxiv 

CARICATURES xxv 

HEAD OF AN ANGEL xxvi 

STUDY OF A MAN'S HEAD xxvn 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

PLATE 

STUDIES OF HANDS .... . xxvm 

DRAGON FIGHTING WITH A LION .... xxix 

MAN KNEELING xxx 

PORTRAIT STUDY xxxi 

STUDIES OF ANIMALS xxxn 

PORTRAIT OF LEONARDO, BY HIMSELF . . . xxxni 

SIX HEADS OF MEN AND A BUST OF A WOMAN xxxiv 

STUDY OF A HEAD xxxv 

THE ST. ANNE CARTOON xxxvi 

STUDIES OF HORSES xxxvn 

HEADS OF A WOMAN AND A CHILD . . . xxxvm 

STUDY OF DRAPERY FOR A KNEELING FIGURE . xxxix 

KNIGHT IN ARMOUR XL 

STUDY OF A YOUTHFUL HEAD XLI 

STUDY FOR "LEDA" XLII 

HEAD OF AN OLD MAN XLIII 

STUDY OF A HEAD XLIV 

STUDY OF THE HEAD OF ST. PHILIP FOR "THE 

LAST SUPPER" XLV 

STUDY OF DRAPERY XLVI 

GIRL'S HEAD XLVII 

STUDIES OF A SATYR WITH A LION XLVIII 






THE DRAWINGS OF 
LEONARDO DA VINCI 

BY C. LEWIS HIND 




EONARDO DA VINCI found in drawing the readiest 
and most stimulating way of self-expression. The 
use of pen and crayon came to him as naturally as 
the monologue to an eager and egoistic talker. The 
outline designs in his " Treatise on Painting " aid 
and amplify the text with a force that is almost 
unknown in modern illustrated books. Open the pages at random. 
Here is a sketch showing " the greatest twist which a man can 
make in turning to look at himself behind.'* The accompanying 
text is hardly needed. The drawing supplies all that Leonardo 
wished to convey. 

Unlike Velasquez, whose authentic drawings are almost negli- 
gible, pen, pencil, silver-point, or chalk were rarely absent from 
Leonardo's hand, and although, in face of the Monna Lisa and The 
Virgin of the '^pcks and the St. Anne^ it is an exaggeration to say that 
he would have been quite as highly esteemed had none of his work 
except the drawings been preserved, it is in the drawings that we 
realise the extent of " that continent called Leonardo." The in- 
ward-smiling women of the pictures, that have given Leonardo as 
painter a place apart in the painting hierarchy, appear again and 
again in the drawings. And in the domain of sculpture, where 
Leonardo also triumphed, although nothing modelled by his hand 
now remains, we read in Vasari of certain " heads of women 
smiling." 

" His spirit was never at rest," says Antonio Billi, his earliest 
biographer, " his mind was ever devising new things." The rest- 
lessness of that profound and soaring mind is nowhere so evident as 
in the drawings and in the sketches that illustrate the manuscripts. 
Nature, in lavishing so many gifts upon him, perhaps withheld con- 
centration, although it might be argued that, like the bee, he did 
not leave a flower until all the honey or nourishment he needed was 
withdrawn. He begins a drawing on a sheet of paper, his imagina- 
tion darts and leaps, and the paper is soon covered with various 

7 



THE DRAWINGS OF LEONARDO DA VINCI 
designs. Upon the margins of his manuscripts he jotted down 
pictorial ideas. Between the clauses of the " Codex Atlanticus " 
we find an early sketch for his lost picture of Leda. 

The world at large to-day reverences him as a painter, but to 
Leonardo painting was but a section of the full circle of life. 
Everything that offered food to the vision or to the brain of man 
appealed to him. In the letter that he wrote to the Duke of Milan 
in 1482, offering his services, he sets forth, in detail, his qualifications 
in engineering and military science, in constructing buildings, in 
conducting water from one place to another, beginning with the 
clause, " I can construct bridges which are very light and strong 
and very portable." Not until the end of this long letter does he 
mention the fine arts, contenting himself with the brief statement, 
" I can further execute sculpture in marble, bronze, or clay, 
also in painting I can do as much as any one else, whoever he be." 
Astronomy, optics, physiology, geology, botany, he brought his 
mind to bear upon all. Indeed, he who undertakes to write upon 
Leonardo is dazed by the range of his activities. He was military 
engineer to Caesar Borgia ; he occupied himself with the construc- 
tion of hydraulic works in Lombardy ; he proposed to raise the 
Baptistery of San Giovanni at Florence ; he schemed to connect 
the Loire by an immense canal with the Saone ; he experimented 
with flying-machines ; and his early biographers testify to his skill 
as a musician. Painting and modelling he regarded but as a moiety 
of his genius. He spared no labour over a creation that absorbed 
him. Matteo Bandello, a member of the convent of Santa Maria 
della Grazie, gives the following account of his method when 
engaged upon The Last Supper. " He was wont, as I myself have 
often seen, to mount the scaffolding early in the morning and work 
until the approach of night, and in the interest of painting he forgot 
both meat and drink. There came two, three, or even four days 
when he did not stir a hand, but spent an hour or two in contempla- 
ting his work, examining and criticising the figures. I have seen 
him, too, at noon, when the sun stood in the sign of Leo, leave the 
Corte Vecchia (in the centre of the town), where he was engaged 
on his equestrian statue, and go straight to Santa Maria della Grazie, 
mount the scaffolding, seize a brush, add two or three touches to a 
single figure, and return forthwith." 

Leonardo impressed his contemporaries and touched their imagi- 
nations, even as he captivates us to-day. Benvenuto Cellini describes 
King Francis as hanging upon Leonardo's words during the last 
years of his life, and saying that " he did not believe that any other 
o 






THE DRAWINGS OF LEONARDO DA VINCI 

man had come into the world who had attained so great a knowledge 
as Leonardo." Everybody knows Pater's luminously imaginative 
essay on Leonardo, and scientific criticism has said perhaps the last 
word upon his achievement in Mr. McCurdy's recent volume, and 
in Mr. Herbert P. Home's edition of Vasari's " Life." As to the 
drawings, Mr. Bernhard Berenson, in his costly work on " The 
Drawings of the Florentine Masters," has included a catalogue 
raisonne, has scattered lovely reproductions through the pages, and 
placed his favourites on the pinnacle of his appreciation. In the 
manuscripts, with their wealth of sketches in the text, one realises 
the tremendous sweep of Leonardo's mental activity. Some are still 
unpublished, but the Italian Government promise a complete edition 
of the MSS. at an early date. His " Treatise on Painting " is easily 
accessible in Dr. Richter's " Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci " 
that wonderful treatise which begins : " The young student 
should, in the first place, acquire a knowledge of perspective, to 
enable him to give every object its proper dimensions : after which, 
it is requisite that he be under the care of an able master, to accustom 
him, by degrees, to a good style of drawing the parts. Next, he 
should study Nature, in order to confirm and fix in his mind the 
reason of those precepts which he has learnt. He must also bestow 
some time in viewing the works of various old masters, to form his 
eye and judgment, in order that he may be able to put in practice 
all that he has been taught." Chapter ccxxx. in the section on 
" Colours " is entitled " How to paint a Picture that will Last Almost 
for Ever." In view of the present condition of The Last Supper at 
Milan, fading from sight, Leonardo was wise to insert the word 
" almost." He is constantly giving the reader surprises, and not the 
least of them is the series of " Fables " from his pen, included in 
Dr. Richter's edition of his literary works. 

One authentic portrait of Leonardo by his own hand exists the 
red chalk drawing in the library at Turin. Dating from the last 
years of his life, it shows the face of a seer, moulded by incessant 
thought into firm, strongly marked lines. The eyes lurk deep 
beneath shaggy brows, the hair and beard are long and straggling 
it is the face of a man who has peered into hidden things and who 
has pondered deeply over what he discerned. The beard is no longer 
" curled and well kept," in the words of a contemporary document, 
wherein he is described as " of a fine person, well proportioned, full 
of grace and of a beautiful aspect, wearing a rose-coloured tunic, 
short to the knee, although long garments were then in use." 

Mr. Berenson has suggested that the youth in armour, who alone 

9 



THE DRAWINGS OF LEONARDO DA VINCI 
among all the figures in Leonardo's Adoration of the Magi in the 
Louvre turns away from the scene and looks towards the spectator, 
is a portrait of Leonardo himself. Botticelli reproduced his own 
features in a figure similarly placed in his Adoration of the Magi. 

The largest collection ot Leonardo da Vinci's drawings is in the 
Royal Library at Windsor Castle. They are not accessible to the 
public in general, but under certain conditions they may be examined. 
Other collections are in the Louvre, the British Museum, the Uffizi, 
the Royal Library at Turin, the Venice Academy, and in the port- 
folios of private collectors such as M. Bonnat of Paris, and Dr. Mond 
of London. The drawings in the Print Room of the British 
Museum, which are easily available to students, include the remark- 
able Head of a Warrior in profile, from the Malcolm Collection, 
which is reproduced in this volume. This beautiful and minutely 
finished head and bust in silver-point belongs to Leonardo's early 
period, when he was still under the influence of his master, Verrocchio. 
Indeed, there is a resemblance between this arrogant warrior and the 
head of Verrocchio's statue of Colleoni at Venice ; it has been 
suggested by Dr. Gronau that this profile represents an effort of the 
pupil to show Verrocchio the manner in which he would have handled 
the task. Be that as it may, this drawing is a striking example of 
how, in the hands of a master, the most profuse and detailed decora- 
tion can be made subservient to the main theme. The eye follows 
with delight the exquisite imaginative drawing in armour and helm. 
Nothing is insistent ; nothing is superfluous. Every quaint and 
curious detail leads up to the firm contour of the face. Leonardo 
saw the theme as a whole, and the decorator's ingenuity has 
throughout remained subservient to the artist's vision. It is War 
quiescent, as Rodin's famous group is War militant. The British 
Museum also contains a sheet of those grotesque heads, specimens of 
which are reproduced in this volume, horrible faces of men and 
women grimacing and screeching at one another, with protruding 
lips and beak-like chins, looming from the discoloured paper. In a 
drawing at Milan there are two sketches of a combat, a man on 
horseback fighting a grotesque animal, that are startling in their 
power of arrested movement. There are also drawings of fearful 
wild-fowl, dragons, and the like, snarling at one another and making 
frightful onslaught. Critics have tried to explain the reason why 
Leonardo gazed into these gulfs, but the explanation is probably 
nothing more than the fertility and fecundity of his imagination. 
The grotesque and the terrible often have an attraction for gifted 
minds, forming a relief from the endless quest after beauty and the 
10 



THE DRAWINGS OF LEONARDO DA VINCI 

physical strain of living continually on the heights. Rossetti com- 
posed verses that arc not included in his collected works. A distin- 
guished living writer has confessed that the byways of his leisure 
are brightened by the study of criminology. The late Arthur Strong, 
commenting on the grotesques by Leonardo da Vinci at Chatsworth, 
contributes this curious and interesting theory : " His method was 
akin to the geometry of projection. Just as the shadow of a circle 
is an ellipse, so by projecting the lines of a human face of a certain 
marked type he was enabled to detect and exhibit, as in a shadow, 
the secret but most real kinship between the bete humaine and the 
dog, the ape, or the swine, as the case might be. In a sheet of 
drawings at Windsor we see the same process applied to the head of 
a lion until it quickens into a lower canine form." 

The late librarian of Chatsworth also comments upon the copies 
and forgeries of drawings by Leonardo da Vinci that abound at 
Chatsworth, as in other collections. The process of sifting the 
pictures ascribed to Leonardo may be said to be complete. John 
William Brown, in the Appendix to his life of Leonardo, published 
in 1828, catalogues nearly fifty pictures from the hand of the master. 
Mr. McCurdy, in his study of the records of Leonardo's life, has 
reduced that generous estimate to ten. There is still considerable 
disagreement about some of the drawings, but there are enough 
indubitably authentic, a bewildering variety indeed, for all practical 
purposes of study, and to proclaim the abounding genius of this 
flame-like Florentine, whose mind was a universe and who " painted 
little but drew much " with " that wonderful left hand." The fact 
that Leonardo was left-handed, with the result that the shading of 
his drawings usually runs from left to right, and not from right to 
left, should be evidence, as Morelli and others have pointed out, of 
the authenticity of those drawings whose lines of direction run from 
left to right. But this test is far from perfect, as it is the first 
business of a forger to study mannerisms. Many of the drawings 
bear comments in his handwriting, which also usually ran from right 
to left, the famous letter to the Duke of Milan being an exception. 
A pen-drawing in the Uffizi has, in the lower part, a note from 
which the beginning has been torn away. The words that remain 
are : "... bre 1478 ichomiciai le 2 Vgine Marie," which may be 
interpreted, "October 1478, I began the two of the Virgin Mary." 

Most of the drawings are made with the pen, others are in chalk 
and silver-point. In the well-known Isabella d'Este of the Louvre 
there are traces of pastel, and some of the sketches of drapery are 
drawn on fine linen with a brush. 

ii 



THE DRAWINGS OF LEONARDO DA VINCI 

One of Leonardo's earliest drawings, if not his first attempt, is 
the landscape dated 1473 in the Uffizi, done when he was twenty- 
one years of age. It is signed, and these words are inscribed in the 
left-hand top corner : " The day of S. Mary of the Snow, the fifth 
day of August, 1473." 

Another drawing that can be assigned to a period is the sketch 
in pen and ink of a youth hanging from a rope with his hands 
fastened behind his back. This unfortunate was Bernardo Bandini, 
who was hanged for the murder of Giuliano de Medici in 1479. 
It is supposed that Leonardo was commissioned to paint a picture 
of the execution, and that he made the drawing of Bandini as a 
preparatory study. Leonardo was nothing if not conscientious. On 
the margin of the sketch, which is in the possession of M. Bonnat, 
is this note describing Bandini's costume : " Small tan-coloured cap, 
black satin doublet, lined black jerkin, blue coat lined with fur of 
foxes' breasts, and the collar of the cloak covered with velvet speckled 
black and red ; Bernardo di Bandino Baroncelli ; black hose." 

As we turn over and examine the diversified drawings by 
Leonardo da Vinci, we are continually reminded of the passion that 
draughtsmanship was to him. Pen and pencil bear witness that his 
mind was never at rest. He drew for the love of it ; his hand raced 
to obey the thronging pictures that his brain conceived, and he drew, 
not necessarily as a preparatory stage for the making of a picture, 
but because draw he must. Despite the hundreds of drawings that 
remain as examples of his industry, there are no studies extant for 
the Monna Lisa, although it has been suggested that the hands from 
the Windsor Collection reproduced in this volume were preparatory 
sketches for the marvellous hands of that third wife of a Florentine 
official upon whose head all " the ends of the world are come." 
Critics differ on this point, but there is no difference of opinion as 
to the beauty of Monna Lisa's hands. " The right hand," says 
Mr. McCurdy, "is perhaps the most perfect hand that was ever 
painted." 

Probably many of the sheets of drawings of children, women, 
cats, and lambs were for Madonna pictures that have been lost or 
destroyed. He was never content with the stereotyped and con- 
ventional arrangement for a sacred picture, such as satisfied Francia. 
He was ever curious, as well as a seeker after beauty, and life being 
his province, he loved to intrigue the human element into a Madonna 
and Child motive. The Child playing with the cat, hugging a 
lamb, learning his lessons at his mother's knee, numbers of them 
testify to Leonardo's direct and large-hearted humanity. With him 

12 






A 



THE DRAWINGS OF LEONARDO DA VINCI 

the Child is always a child, acting like a child. In a drawing in 
the British Museum he clutches a protesting cat in his chubby arms, 
while the mother smiles the eternal, personal smile of Leonardo 
that haunted him, as it fascinates us. In another drawing the Child 
is dipping a chubby hand into a bowl of porridge, and again the 
Mother smiles the enigmatic, persisting smile of Leonardo. There 
are no fewer than twenty-seven drawings of animals on one sheet at 
Windsor. The majority are cats, but in some instance his imagina- 
tion has invented a hybrid animal to which no name can be given. 
In a drawing at Milan the Child is apparently receiving a lesson in 
geometry one of Leonardo's special studies. "He is entirely 
wrapped up in geometry, and has no patience for painting," writes 
a correspondent to Isabella d'Este in reply to a letter from her 
asking what Leonardo was doing. " Since he has been in Florence," 
continues the correspondent, " he has worked only on one cartoon. 
This represents an infant Christ of about one year, who, freeing 
himself from his mother's arms, seizes a lamb, and seems to clasp it." 
There is no record that these pictures of the Child with cat or 
lamb, or dropping his hand into a bowl of porridge, were ever 
finished ; but the drawings were seen by the young Raphael, who 
drew inspiration from them. It is curious to turn from these imagi- 
native designs to the literal study of a tree, searched out as carefully 
as Leighton's drawing of a lemon-tree, but so much bolder and so 
much more confident in treatment ; or to that drawing that might 
have been produced in an engineer's office, showing a number of 
nude figures lifting a heavy cylinder by lever-power, probably a 
design dating from the period when he held the post of military 
engineer to Cassar Borgia. During his residence at Pavia, when, 
among other activities, he constructed the scenery for a kind of 
masque produced in honour of the marriage of Gian Galeazzo with 
Isabella of Aragon, and on another occasion arranged a tournament, 
he also designed an apparatus of pulleys and cords to convey the relic 
of the Sacred Nail to a different position in the Cathedral. The 
sketch is inscribed, " In the Cathedral for the pulley of the Nail of 
the Cross." 

Moderns who try to paint without first undergoing the drudgery 
of drawing for some years in the schools should ponder over 
Leonardo's studies of the nude, reading at the same time the chapters 
on "Proportion" in his "Treatise on Painting." What whole- 
hearted pre-occupation in his work the following extract shows ! It 
is entitled " Of studying in the Dark, on first waking in the Morning, 
and before going to Sleep." " I have experienced no small benefit, 






THE DRAWINGS OF LEONARDO DA VINCI 

when in the dark and in bed, by retracing in my mind the outlines 
of those forms which I had previously studied, particularly such as 
had appeared the most difficult to comprehend and retain ; by this 
method they will be confirmed and treasured upon the memory." 

Flowers, trees, and wings he studied with the same fidelity and 
felicity that he gave to hands and drapery. He was for ever pre- 
paring and experimenting, for ever storing and developing his mind, 
for ever increasing the cunning of his hands, as if life were endless. 
His sixty-seven years of activity were all too short for this giant, 
who excelled in every worthy pursuit of mortals except commerce 
and politics. A Florentine poet of the Quattrocento, who knew 
Leonardo in his early manhood, described him as the man who 
"perhaps excels all others, yet cannot tear himself away from a 
picture, and in many years scarce brings one to completion." His 
mind was continually putting forth fresh shoots. We can imagine 
him, before beginning to paint the wings of the angel in his picture 
of TAe Annunciation in the Louvre, studying the ways of birds at rest 
and in flight, and considering the problem of the possibility of man 
ever achieving the conquest of the air. Such ideas never came to 
fruition, but there is a passage in his writings, written in a moment 
of exaltation, when he had vision of man floating on pinions in the 
ether, and himself as inventor and originator of the triumph. In 
that moment of vision of a perfected Santos-Dumont, Leonardo 
wrote : " He will fill the universe with wonder and all writings with 
his fame, and will give deathless renown to the nest which witnessed 
his birth." 

Through all his dreams, through all his scientific, human, and 
grotesque imaginings, he never ceased from the quest of beauty, that 
obsession of the true artist, which he expressed so often in the faces 
of his women, their hair and hands, in the looks of children, in the 
fall and fold of draperies, and in the figures of armed knights setting 
forth to tourney or to battle. One only has to recall the face of 
St. Anne in the Louvre picture, the curling, plaited hair about the 
head of Leda in the Windsor drawing, the strange sexless charm of 
the smile of St. John the Baptist in the Louvre picture, Monna Lisa, 
the " sceptical " angel in The Virgin of the Rocks, and the head of 
St. Philip in the Windsor drawing, to be impressed again by the 
enigmatic beauty, always new, never palling, that Leonardo gave to 
the world. In the cartoon of the Virgin and Child with St. Anne 
which hangs in the Diploma Gallery at Burlington House, one of 
the nation's greatest treasures, which so few Londoners ever visit, 
this country possesses a characteristic and unapproachable Leonardo. 
14 



THE DRAWINGS OF LEONARDO DA VINCI 

It differs materially from the picture in the Louvre, the heads of the 
Virgin and St. Anne being nearly on a level ; St. Anne is gazing at 
the Virgin, not at the Child, her hand is upraised, the finger points 
upwards, and the Baptist is included in the composition. But in 
each the face of St. Anne has the Leonardo inward, extenuating 
smile, suggesting that attribute of aloofness of which the mediaeval 
schoolmen write. The upward-pointing hand of St. Anne is almost 
identical with the motion of St. Thomas's hand in The Last Supper 
at Milan, and with the hand of St. John in the Louvre. Comparing 
the Diploma Gallery cartoon with the finished picture in the Louvre, 
and with the sketch at the Venice Academy, we realise the years 
of labour that Leonardo gave to a picture before he would call it 
finished. One of the drawings of drapery reproduced in this volume 
is an exquisite study for the garment that enfolds the Virgin's limbs 
in the Louvre picture. 

The series of heads of women reproduced in these pages show 
again his love of hair, either flowing or in plaits, or confined in 
strange and delicate head-dresses about the sweet, severe brows. 
And always the eyes of his women are cast down, an attitude that 
he rarely gives to his men, whose heads often have a touch of carica- 
ture, a hint, but never pushed to the extreme that he allowed himself 
in the grotesque. 

In the bust of a woman in profile at Milan we have a sketch 
that in the unflattering presentment of a likeness is akin to his 
remarkable drawing of Isabella d'Este, now in the Louvre. The 
firm contour of the face, the thin nose and round, protruding chin, 
the long neck and ample bosom, betoken that on this occasion his 
eye, not his imagination, held the mastery. But the drawing of 
Isabella d'Este is larger in conception, and this grave and simple 
presentment of a distinguished lady of the Italian Renaissance is so 
informed with an assured power that it is justly hailed as one of 
Leonardo's finest efforts. It was made at Mantua, and was designed 
to serve as the study for the portrait of the Marchioness which 
Leonardo never completed, if indeed he ever began it. Five years 
later Isabella d'Este wrote to Leonardo reproaching him for his delay : 
" When you were in the country and drew our portrait in chalk you 
promised you would one day paint our picture in colours." But 
Leonardo was not, like Mantegna, ductile in the hands of the 
Marchioness. He did not succumb to her blandishments. There is 
no record that he ever gratified the lady by painting a certain small 
work that she made petition for " a little picture of the Madonna 
full of faith and sweetness, just as his nature would enable him to 

15 



THE DRAWINGS OF LEONARDO DA VINCI 

conceive her." Leonardo had pursuits more engrossing than the 
making of a picture to please the vanity even of so great a lady as 
the Marchioness of Mantua. 

The flame of Leonardo's imagination did not burn with the desire 
to provide little pictures of the Madonna full of faith and sweetness. 
He must do things in his own way, and that way would inspire him 
to produce such a drawing as the head of a young Bacchus with 
long, curling hair, clothed in a costume, just peeping from the 
sketch, of a similar material to the dress of Isabella d'Este ; or a 
kneeling Leda, such a drawing as we find at Chatsworth, showing 
how the artist gradually evolved the design for the final picture of 
Leda y which was seen in the collection of King Francis at Fontaine- 
bleau, but is now lost. Here, too, the eyes of the woman are down- 
cast. She turns to the children who are breaking from the eggs, 
while one of her arms clasps the swan. The broken shells, and 
the children just scrambling into existence, are as characteristic of 
Leonardo's passion for the episodes of life as the Child playing with 
the cat, or dipping his fist into the bowl of porridge. Leda is the 
only mythological picture that he painted. The preparatory draw- 
ings, like the drawings for others of his lost or destroyed works, such 
as the Sforza Statue^ andT~the Baftle~of tJie "Standard are numerous. 
There is no mistaking the drawings for the Sforza statue, although 
it is not easy to decide which of the many designs of equestrian 
figures were for the Statue of Francesco Sforza, and which for the 
Trivulzio Monument. One of the Windsor drawings shows no 
fewer than four sketches on one sheet for the group of horse and 
rider, which, we are told, was twenty-six feet high. It would seem 
that Leonardo's first intention was to make Francesco Sforza's charger 
trampling on a fallen enemy, but that he abandoned this tremendous 
conception for a quieter design. It is clear from contemporary 
records that Leonardo spent sixteen years over the statue : to-day no 
trace of it, except in the drawings, remains. There is some doubt 
as to whether it was ever successfully cast in bronze, which explains 
Michael Angelo's taunt that after Leonardo had finished the model 
he was unable to cast it. Probably it was Leonardo's model that 
was destroyed, or at any rate severely damaged, when the French 
entered Milan in 1500. Fra Sabba da Castiglione wrote at the time: 
" I have to record and I cannot speak of it without grief and 
indignation so noble and masterly a work made a target by the 
Gascon bowmen." 

In his writings Leonardo describes war as a " bestial frenzy," and 
in this grand conception of a rearing horse trampling upon a warrior, 
16 

J 



THE DRAWINGS OF LEONARDO DA VINCI 

who is trying to protect himself with his shield, it was perhaps his 
intention to pillory the horror of war, while at the same time pro- 
ducing a heroic design. The splendid vigour of this group, and of 
the maddened figures in the Battle of Anghiari, stimulate us even in 
the slight sketches. We hear the shouts of barbaric warfare as we 
draw them from their quiet resting-places in orderly portfolios. The 
" bestial frenzy " of war was never depicted with greater force than 
in Leonardo's studies for the last Cartoon for the Battle of Anghiari, 
where horses gnash at each other, and soldiers, filled with the lust of 
war, scream incoherent cries. The heads of two men in a drawing 
in the Buda-Pest Gallery, in the very act of slaying, mouths wide 
open, breathing fury, are almost painful to look upon. Leonardo 
abandoned this battle picture while still in the midst of the task, as 
if disgusted with continuing to portray the " bestial frenzy." But 
the horses in the battle pictures probably interested him. There is 
a galloping horse in a drawing of Horsemen and Soldiers at Windsor 
that reveals a marvellous knowledge of the action of the horse at 
high speed. Indeed, the horse was one of Leonardo's favourite sub- 
jects. Vasari states that a book of such studies was destroyed when 
the French entered Milan. In the large and minute drawing that 
he made as a preparatory study for the background of his picture of 
The Adoration of the Magi, which was changed and curtailed so 
much in the final composition, there are horses, curvetting and 
prancing, and in the foreground a camel is seen reposing. Actuality 
is introduced in the persons of the retainers of the kings, busy with 
their own affairs, amusing their leisure with a mock combat. In 
the drawing in the Uffizi, of which we give a reproduction, the 
retainers are shown below the great double staircase engaged in a joust. 
One wonders if Velasquez, who did not reach his usual standard of 
perfection when he drew a prancing steed, ever saw any of Leonardo's 
drawings of resolute and spirited horses. 

Velasquez, when he painted the head of Christ in his Crucifixion 
at Madrid, veiled the face with the long hair as if he shrank from 
attempting to portray the sacred features, although nothing deterred 
him from painting the head boldly and freely in his Christ at the 
Column. History tells of a similar meticulous modesty on the part 
of Leonardo in regard to the head of the central figure in his Last 
Supper, which he left unfinished, on the suggestion of Zenale, that 
could not surpass the majesty of certain of the Apostles' heads. 

Several preliminary studies for The Last Supper exist, many of 
which modern criticism refuses to accept as authentic. The most 
prominent in the eye of the world is the pastel of the head of Christ 

'7 



THE DRAWINGS OF LEONARDO DA VINCI 

in the Brera at Milan. Of the beauty of the head, feminine in its 
softness and sadness, there cannot be two opinions, but it has not the 
sense of virility of the head in the Milan fresco, although the pose 
of the drooping face and the downcast eyes are identical. The 
authorities of the Brera Gallery at Milan assign the pastel head to 
Leonardo, and Dr. Richter describes it as " a genuine half-life size study 
in pencil for a head of Christ, which is in a deplorable state of pre- 
servation." In Mr. McCurdy's opinion, the Brera pastel " in its 
present state is none of his, whatever its inception may have been, 
and of that it is impossible to judge." But whatever vicissitudes of 
retouching the Brera pastel may have undergone, it remains a beau- 
tiful thing. The full-sized heads at Weimar, bold and inspiriting 
drawings, of Judas and St. Peter, St. Thomas and St. James the Elder, 
St. Andrew, and St. Bartholomew are not by Leonardo. 

There is no doubt about the authenticity of the heads of the 
Apostles in the Windsor Collection, or of the two preparatory 
sketches for the composition of The Last Supper also at Windsor, or 
of the drawing in red chalk at Venice, containing Leonardo's hand- 
writing, in which the figure of St. John is shown grief-stricken, his 
body thrown forward upon the table, his face hidden at the mere idea 
of the awful words, " One of you shall betray me." 

Leonardo's will, executed on April 23, 1519, in the chateau of 
Cloux, near Amboise, is extant. He commends his soul to God, 
orders the celebration of four high masses and thirty low masses, and 
wills his vineyard, without the walls of Milan, to Salai and Battista 
de Villanis. In taking leave of this restless, richly endowed and rare 
spirit, we turn again to the last lines of Pater's essay, and with him 
wonder how the great Florentine " experienced the last curiosity." 
Then, perhaps, for the mind is always alert when thinking of 
Leonardo, we recall a note in one of his manuscripts wherein he 
expresses his conviction that some day with the help of steam a boat 
may be set in motion, and another passage in his handwriting, 
perhaps really nearer to his real self than the order for those four high 
and thirty low masses this : " When I thought I was learning to 
live, I was but learning to die." 



18 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



FRONTISPIECE 





PKOb'ILE O? A WARRIOR (BRITISH MUSEUM) 



Photo, Autotype Company 



PLATE I 




PORTRAIT OF ISABELLA D'ESTE (LOUVRE) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATE I 




STUDY OF AN OLD MAN (MILAN; 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATE III 




STUDY OF DRAPERIES FOR KNEELING FIGURES 
(BRITISH MUSEUM) 



PHOTO, AUTOTYPE COMPANY 



PLATE IV 




STUDY OP A BACCHUS (ACADEMY, VENIC 



un, Clement 



PLATE V 




HEAD OF A MAN (LOUVRE) 



PHOTO, BRAUN CLEMENT 




BATTLE BETWEEN HORSEMEN 
AND MONSTERS (MILAN) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATE VII 



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WOMAN SEATED ON GROUND AND A CHILD 
KNEELING (MILAN) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATE VIII 












STUDIES OF HEADS (UFFIZI, FLORENCE) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMLNT 



PLATE IX 




YOUTH ON HORSEBACK (WINDSOR) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATEJX 




STUDIES FOR THE EQUESTRIAN STATUE 
OF FRANCESCO SFORZA (WINDSOR) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATE XI 




THE VIRGIN, ST. ANNE AND INFANT (LOUVRE) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATE XII 





STUDIES OF CHILDREN (CHANTILLY) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATE XIII 




THE COMBAT (LOUVRE) n 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATE XIV 




STUDY FO'R A MADONNA 
(UFFIZI, FLORENCE) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATE XV 




STUDIES FOR "THE HOLY FAMILY 
(WINDSOR) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 




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PLATE XVII 




COURTYARD OF A CANNON-FOUNDRY (WINDSOR) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 







Photo, Braun, Clement 



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PLATE XXI 




STUDY OF A TREE (WINDSOR) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATE XXII 




\ 



TWO HEADS. CARICATURES (WINDSOR) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATE XXIII 




ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST (WINDSOR) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATE XXV 




J \ 



CARICATURES (WINDSOR) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATE XXVI 




HEAD OF AN ANGEL (TURIN) 



PHOTO, ANDERSON 



PLATE XXVII 




STUDY OF A MAN'S HEAD (BRITISH MUSEUM) PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATE XXVIII 




STUDIES OF HANDS (WINDSOR) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 




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PLATE XXX 




MAN KNEELING (WINDSOR) 



Photo, Braun, Clement 



PLATE XXXI 








PORTRAIT STUDY (MILAN) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATE XXXII 




STUDIES OF ANIMALS (WINDSOR) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATE XXXIII 




PORTRAIT OF LEONARDO, BY HIMSELF (TURIN) 



PHOTO, ANDERSON 



PLATE XXXIV 




SIX HEADS OF MEN AND A BUST OF A WOMAN PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMEN' 
CARICATURES (VENICE) 



PLATE XXXV 




STUDY OF A HEAD (UFFIZI, FLORENCE) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATE XXXVI 




THE SAINT ANNE CARTOON 
(BURLINGTON HOUSE) 



PHOTO, HOLLYER 



PLATE XXXVII 




STUDIES OF HORSES (WINDSOR) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 






PLATE XXXVIII 




HEADS OF A WOMAN AND A CHILD (CHATSWORTH) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATE XXXIX 




STUDY OF DRAPERY FOR A KNEELING FIGURE 
(WINDSOR) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 







KNIGHT IN ARMOUR (MILAN) 



Photo, Braun, Clement 



PLATE XLI 




STUDY OF A YOUTHFUL HEAD (BRITISH MUSEUM) 



PHOTO, AUTOTYPE COMPANY 



PLATE XLII 




STUDY FOR "LEDA" (CHATSWORTH) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATE XLIII 




HEAD OF AN OLD MAN (WINDSOR) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATE XLIV 




STUDY OF A HEAD (WINDSOR) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATE XLV 




STUDY OF THE HEAD OF ST. PHILIP FOR 
THE LAST SUPPER (WINDSOR) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATE XLVI 




STUDY OF DRAPERY (LOUVRE) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATE XLVII 




GIRL'S HEAD (MILAN) 



PHOTO, BRAUN, CLEMENT 



PLATE XLVI1I 




STUDIES OF A SATYR WITH A LION (MILAN) 



PHOTO, BFAUN, CLEMENT 



BINDING SECT. JUL121968 



NG Leonardo da Vinci 

1055 Drawings of Leonardo da 

L5H6 Vinci 



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UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LIBRARY